Floyd Plein Air (In Retrospect)

In addition to my travel up to Maine in June, I participated in two plein air festivals this summer. This was the first summer I have done this many "away" events in a long time but now that my daughter is getting a little older I felt like the time was right to give them a shot. The first was Floyd Plein Air, which took place in and around Floyd, Virginia in August. I had fully intended to live blog during this event, but I had zero internet or GPS anywhere in Floyd (not a great look for me, but somehow I survived ;-) ) I participated in the inaugural event for this festival a couple of years ago, under the name of "Plein Air Crush". This time around the festival was extended from a long weekend to an entire week. The weather was much better this time, which meant my paintings weren't covered in a layer of fine dirt like they were the first time around. Floyd is was a truly scenic venue for a plein air event, organized by the Floyd Center for the Arts.  I met a lot of very fine painters during the event, but I found it to be equal parts congenial and competitive. Congenial because I really admired and respected the participating artists who took part in the event, but competitive because there was definitely a competition aspect (judges and awards given) which always adds a layer of stress ( at least for me) to the experience.

Nevertheless the event was a fun fledgling festival, and I had the chance to paint some beautiful scenery for an entire week, which culminated in a show at the Floyd Center for the Arts. Here are a few of my pieces painted during the festival:

Delphinium Walk

It is blazing (as in dangerously) hot outside, so as I value my health, I've been having a good time inside reinterpreting my outdoor paintings. 😄  Not every plein air painting I've done calls for expansion. Some of my local pieces are just right as charming vignettes. But this garden piece, painted at a beautiful estate off of River Road, commanded more study. 

 

My 24x20" painting, alongside the 9x12" plein air

My 24x20" painting, alongside the 9x12" plein air

These are the delphiniums at Redesdale, which I had the great pleasure of painting in very changeable weather this past spring. I started out attempting a more literal translation, but given that the new piece was enlarged, and scaled slightly differently, I felt as if the composition need some alteration. The painting seemed to want more breathing room, so I scraped down much of the sky around the upper right quadrant and pushed the trees on that side further into the distance. Here is the final:  

 

"Delphinium Walk", Oil on linen, 24x20"  ©Jennifer E Young

"Delphinium Walk", Oil on linen, 24x20"  ©Jennifer E Young